Japanese PM to visit Israel, PA before G8 summit

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was set to leave Tuesday for Israel and the Middle East amid escalating violence there. He was to arrive in Tel Aviv early Wednesday and was scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert the same day, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Koizumi will travel to Jerusalem and hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday before heading for Jordan the next day, the ministry said.